Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Update

By now you're probably a little sick of the remodel pictures aren't you? Frankly, I am too, although today I'll be posting just a few more because now it's time for accessories.  Every fashionista will tell you that accessories make all the difference in the world.
Baxter posing beside one of those beautiful French pots I mentioned. He's the cutest isn't he? The pot's not bad either.

Because we're not accustomed to seeing such a large expanse of wall I felt we needed something to fill the space between the windows. Shopping at a few of my favorite local stores left me short of anything appropriate. As such, I turned to the web and found this:
If you can imagine I got it from Neiman Marcus, the last place I expected to find something like this. Because we were anxious to be done, Bruce convinced me to pay the extra $10 for two day shipping, however, when the email arrived with expected arrival date, it was anything but two days, more like ten.
Wow--what customer service I received. After explaining the situation, the nice young man told me that they would remove all shipping costs if I was still interested. Removing $42 worth of shipping costs? You bet I was still interested! Fortunately, Bruce was working from home on Tuesday when it arrived by Fed-Ex. A few hours later, our little sun guy was filling the space as nicely as I'd hoped.

On our way home from the doctor, who, by the way, gave Angela permission to drive, we stopped at Home Depot to buy a few plants. I spent much of the morning in the back planting impatiens, geraniums, lantana, and a new kind of Sunpatiens, which as you can guess by the name, do well in full sun.
And how did Miss Gail cool off after all her planting? Why she jumped in the pool of course! Lisa tells me a cold front is on the way, however today is expected to push 90 degrees again; I'm taking advantage of it while I can. Just as people claimed, the water feels wonderful, leaving my hair softer after swimming than I can ever remember.

Why, you ask is this post entitled Thursday update? I realized yesterday that I've bemoaned various things without keeping you up to speed on their outcome. Let's rectify that shall we?

  • The kidney stone crisis seems to have passed without further ado. Thank God for small miracles. 
  • My dishwasher benefited from a dose of vinegar which apparently cleaned out the lines and is now working like a champ.
  • Monday morning, Danny arrived bright and early to finish cleaning and caulking the windows. The cleaner he left is simply the bomb--CRL is the name, and if you live in a house with windows galore as I do, you simply must purchase this fantastic product which is apparently carried at Target and Home Depot. 
  • I neglected to tell you that two weeks ago at the market my display was lacking due to the show. What I mean is I was out of many of the prints I normally put in my A frame display. Awkwardly written, I know. Anyway, instead I decided to put a few of my fruits and vegetables in as place holders. Imagine my surprise when a farmer from Delaware noticed the watermelon print and proceeded to order 4 18x24 prints and, and, and, a 24x36 canvas of said print! Call me flabbergasted. Needless to say, my sales total was much improved for that week. Apparently watermelons are just one of their crops. As well, she bought other prints that day. Wow! Mr Roger made them all, shipping them today.
  • Registered for the November 11 digital mammography conference today. 8 points--$179.00
  • Renewed my Florida license online--only need 12 points.
  • As well, I did the last of the online modules needed to renew my national license which requires 24 points,  once I go to that conference. This will take a huge burden off of me. Until this time two years from now....
Speaking of fruits, it's been far too long since I took any photos aside from remodel ones. Seeing these little pears at Publix, I had to give them a try:
Pretty light, huh? Once upon a time I sold lots of fruit and vegetable pictures. These days, only now and again but it doesn't stop me from trying. :)

Lunch time my dear ones....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Couldn't Wait

And with the weather as hot as it's been, the question was really--why wait? So I didn't.
Seriously, imagine going through all that and waiting till April to try it out. After planting a few pots, which by the way are gorgeous French handmade glazed pots, I was so hot I decided to take the plunge. Bad pun, huh?

The water was actually wonderful. Temperatures here are still hovering near 90, making a refreshing dip in the pool irresistible. What I'm figuring is that because the ground water is still pretty warm the pool is as well. I took this on Monday afternoon, and if David hadn't phoned asking me to pick him up at the airport, I would have gone in again yesterday after trimming the palms. Today, with record high temperatures predicted,  you just might find me swimming again. My apologies if you're reading this somewhere that is already sweater weather.....

We're taking full advantage of having a back yard once again, dining outside under the flashy new umbrella:
Isn't that a lovely glow? If we were crazy we would put the umbrella on the flashing mode to go along with the "Voodoo Lounge" setting on the pool light.
I forget what color they call this one because there are multiple settings, maybe 12 different ones? Anyway "Voodoo Lounge" flashes the color spectrum quickly. I'm not sure I'm making sense describing  it, but I can tell you we are happy to once again have a light in the pool, whatever the color. Looking closely you can see the leaves are already starting to fall. What you can't tell from this photograph is that there is not one, not two, not just three, but FOUR of those baby frogs clinging to the tile. I'm not quite sure where they are coming from--what I do know is that I'd prefer they go back to where they came from. Even after removing them, they seem to find their way back in. Hmmmm......

One theory is that with the extra watering because of the new plants they are being driven from their place in the beds. The water is also drawing some little finches out front--when the sprinklers go off they gather on the front walk and in the bushes:
Adorable huh?

Today is my sister Nancy's birthday. I was thinking that when we were growing up our different ages  meant something, which I suppose they really do, but as one grows older I just sort of feel like we're all the same age. Weird.

In just a bit I'm driving Angela to her post-op visit again. She's doing remarkably well aside from the fact that she can't drive. She normally flits in and out all day long making the non-driving part of this operation the worst part!

I was swamped with visitors at the Polasek yesterday--if you can imagine. 25 to be exact!

Finally, for my readers with a sweet tooth, and you know who you are, I give you this: Nice to have validation isn't it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality..

Apparently, they don't call it Slowcala for nothing.

When last we spoke, we were heading out with high hopes, which if the show closed on Saturday, I would be writing that those hopes were not only dashed, but smashed to smithereens. Alas, Sunday redeemed the experience somewhat. We'll get to that in due time.

The show site clocked in at 83 miles from home. Set in a large park, there were two kinds of spaces--sunny and grassy, and shady and sandy. Now, it's not like I haven't been intimately acquainted with dirt this last month, it's just that I was hoping to have that behind me. That was not meant to be.

Bruce arrived a little before me now that I've become a pokey driver. Picking up the registration packet, we made our way to site F3, immediately discovering that we were to set up on all dirt/sand. Yikes! Heading back out to the main drag of Ocala, I came across a Big Lots nearby, with a Big Lots Furniture store no less. The biggest gray rug I could find was 5'x7' which once you see the booth space you'll agree was better than nothing. Additionally we used the carpets that lay in the back of the Element. Have I kept you in suspense too long? Well, here it is:
The oak tree shading our spot had one of the largest trunks I've ever seen. Seriously majestic. You are looking at the final product taken Saturday morning.  As you well know, it takes a good deal of time to get it looking this way.

Normally Bruce busts a move with the set up, however, on Friday we took it slow and easy. Did I forget to mention that Bruce's favorite little buddy came along for the ride? Well, here are the two of them:
Bruce was taking a business call in this with Baxter snuggled up in his lap. He stayed with me long enough to enjoy the welcome dinner on the grounds before making the trip back to Orlando. There was a little comedy act going on behind Bruce. They didn't mean it to be funny, but the fellows setting up those panels kept having the worst time getting them right--like almost two hours worth! Their banter while this was going on kept us entertained. Much to my amazement when the tent was open the next morning the paintings were amazing! Here's his next door neighbor taking a closer look:
Adding to the comedy--he set up in the wrong space! Somehow he thought this space was the end of the row, for which he paid, but it was one in.  Apparently, this artist typically wins best in show, however, this time he was denied. A pencil artist surprised everyone by winning. From the little bit that I saw, there was some terrific art to be seen amongst the 200 tents.

Back to Friday evening after the dinner--as is my wont, I took a left turn once I saw a sign recognizing the Historic district. Here's a little scene I came across just as the sun was setting:
This, however, was not such a great plan because I ended up lost. Duh! Eventually, after several calls to Bruce, begging a woman who stared right at me through her car window to help me, and eventually receiving directions from a kind man in another car next to me, I found the Hilton. Whew!

After a good night's sleep, not to mention a wonderful breakfast buffet, I managed to drive right to the site with high hopes for a good day. Your first sale is always great--you've broken the ice. Leaving that evening my spirits were not so high, although I tried to not let it get me down. I sold 23 items, mostly small. Really, like a decent day at the market, which I don't need to remind you, does not require a caravan and $225 fee. Calling Lisa to let her know how things went, she said she'd been worried that it would be too much for me to handle on my own. If only.....

For probably the first time in, I can't even begin to remember, I fell asleep with the tv on. I was watching the Alabama/Tennessee game which was pretty much a foregone conclusion early on. Instead, the Oklahoma/Missouri game might have kept me awake with the upset. Anyway, Sunday morning I was refreshed and ready to give it another go. It was no avalanche of people, but I did manage to eke out 40 more sales, mostly small, but at least I wasn't just standing there! For a closer look at my sales floor, check this out:
Thank goodness for those rugs! Bruce, that darling man of mine, arrived a little before 5:00 for the tear down. Once we removed the pieces from the walls, we were left with their white shadow on a sea of gray dirt on the panels! Wiping them down the best we could, with both cars full, we headed off into the sunset....

Only to arrive 1 1/2 hours later to our beautiful Orlando oasis. Ahhhh.......

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Finish Line... in sight my friends. Darren arrived early this morning, surprised to find the pool full. Once Bruce put the second hose in things moved pretty quickly. Awakening at his customary hour, he checked the pool at 5:30 this morning finding it full. Hurray.

Darren is pictured here with his gear to get the pool up and running. At the moment it sounds a bit complicated to me, however, I'm sure with practice I can manage. If not, he gave me the name of someone Phil recommends for maintenance. 

And here is our first swimmer!

Not sure where he came from--I hope he likes salt water.

Lastly the gutter installation is in progress as I type:
We've come a long way baby!

Momentarily we're heading for our set up in Ocala...I'm armed with what seems like a ridiculous amount of prints. but one never knows........

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ladies and Gentleman.....We have....Fill Up!

The long awaited, make that, almost a month, time has come to fill it back up! Expecting them early this morning, I anxiously awaited their arrival which was not until 2:00. Naturally I was getting antsy.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me show you how yesterday unfolded, from the mixing, to the spraying, followed by the washing which reveals the pebbles.
 As you can see, they started early--just after sunrise.
The truck out front mixed, the second guy sprayed, and here's the whole crew in action:

It looked as if they were spraying frosting on the walls of the pool. All this took place in the space of about three hours. Today, the next crew came to acid wash the walls, connect the light, and there you have it!
It is hard to believe the process is finally over! The fill up:
One reason I was waiting so anxiously was because it will take hours upon hours to fill it up. Following that, Phil and Darren will get the pump going, put the salt in something or other to make the chlorine, and I suspect, put in the covers on the filter returns. Not to mention going over the maintenance with yours truly. Our plan was to leave in the morning for Ocala, setting up well before dark this time. So, where does that leave the pool fill up? I'm not sure.

Yesterday I signed, stickered, and sealed loads of prints to replace the ones I sold at Winter Park. Hopefully I'll need them. As is often the case, once I got down to it, I discovered I was missing some best sellers. Trouble is, I've just got too many to keep tabs on! I suppose I'm trying to please everyone which is just my nature...

Returning to the topic of the pool, now the question is to seal, or not to seal. Phil suggests we don't seal the deck, however, everyone else thinks he's wrong. Still puzzling about that. One item we purchased for this remodel is the large umbrella with LCD lighting in the spokes. Let me just tell you--it is the bomb! We can now eat outside after dark with the soft yellow glow illuminating the table. Bruce has a thing about overhead lighting. Hates it with a passion usually reserved for far more serious subjects. To this, he has no objections. In fact, he's leaving me in Ocala to fend for myself so he can stay home and enjoy his new little kingdom.  I'll be staying at a Hilton near the show which if my memory serves me right, will be the first time in my life I've ever stayed at a hotel by myself. So, there you go.

Speaking of lights, the new one in the pool puts on a show...I can hardly wait to see it in action. We've not had a working pool light for so many years I've lost track. What with the pool light show and the flashing lights of the umbrella we're most definitely ready to party!

I took Angela to see Dr. Peppy this morning. It is hard to believe she had a hysterectomy, by robotics no less, on Tuesday. She even walked across the street later on to see the surface. Mostly in this space, you will find me railing against the medical system, however, there truly are some miraculous improvements. Even ten years ago, a hysterectomy would have been a major operation. You'd think it was a root canal these days!

A trip over to Roger's house now to pick up the last of the prints. Heading into Florida Gator fan territory without the small Alligator canvas would have been just plain stupid. Even if the Gators have lost three in a row....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Calvary Has Arrived

It's hard for me to believe that I've written over 700 titles without repeating any. Seriously. Sometimes they come to me and sometimes they are provided by others as is the one I'm using for today.
I kept seeing more of them coming into the backyard and when I expressed surprise at their numbers, one of them said, "the calvary has arrived." Here's the prep:
Observant readers that you are you've probably noticed the pool looks different than when last you saw it. That's because yesterday afternoon Darren put on the bond coat while I was out doing errands.
By now you're probably checking the date on this thinking something seems off. Well....yesterday afternoon just as I was arriving with my arms full, my mobile began to ring in my purse. Rummaging through the contents I couldn't come up with it until after the last ring. Next the house phone rang and this time I answered promptly. Sheila, Phil's daughter and office manager was calling with the welcome news that there was a change in plans which suited me just fine. As I type this the truck out front is mixing the Pebble Tec for the installation which according to the man taping the tile, will take about three hours. Oh Happy Day!

Phil and Darren are wiring the equipment and on Friday we should have water! According to Phil, after the acid wash tomorrow, the pool will be ready for filling and by late Friday morning, they will show me how to run things. Just in time for us to leave for Ocala!

On my way to the Polasek, I picked up my order which I'll start working on momentarily. Bruce went to Watertown, NY yesterday and is now heading to Massachusetts. He is still in some pain, although it's not the drop to your knees kind of pain. He was hoping he'd passed the stone but apparently not. I've begged him to take his Ibuprofen ahead of the pain rather than once it's too far gone. He promises to do so.

Just think, it won't be long before I start posting photos of something besides the back yard. Here's a sneak preview taken at the Polasek yesterday. Fortunately a book club visited which allowed me to get some much needed practice on the register!
One of the places I stopped by yesterday was Costco. While there buying a large floral bouquet for Angela, I came across this weird green flower, if you can call it that.
It feels very soft if you're wondering. Yesterday Angela had a hysterectomy at Winnie Palmer Hospital. Amazingly, they did it with a laparoscope! This, of course, makes for a very quick recovery. After 18 surgeries, she's accustomed to hospitals for sure! She related the funniest story about her pre-op experience. The anesthesiologist asked her if she was SURE she'd had a tracheotomy. Three months to be exact. Do you think it's possible not to be sure about something like that? Duh....

Work is going on in earnest out back; I don't want to miss a thing!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Starting to Look Fly

I may have a gorgeous Travertine pool deck, however, at the moment, I have no working dishwasher, unless of course, you count me. It's not the first time in my life I've had to wash dishes, and it's a pretty sure bet it won't be the last.

It was the tea cups that gave it away. Unloading the dishwasher a week or so ago, I noticed all the tea stains remained in my mugs. Using the trusty method of a little wet baking soda I removed them easily. The next load I noticed the same, then, upon further inspection, I detected particles on everything. Not good.

A dishwasher is something we take for granted in a modern home, at least in the suburbs. Matt, on the other hand, is not taking his new dishwasher for granted after having lived without one for the last 6-7 years. In fact, he's downright giddy.

Ironically, most people have no problem with loading the machine, it's the unloading which many people dislike. That's mostly not been a problem for me, although I will admit it was easier when people talked on the phone. Cradling a phone against ones shoulder and chatting away made the job a snap. Remember when people actually talked on the phone? Those were good times which I hope future generations don't miss out on. Thankfully Matt still calls, spending at least an hour chatting with his Momma. Usually I hang up with having learned something.

Yesterday afternoon I learned he traveled to Frankfurt for business last week, and as I type, he should have already arrived in Paris via the Eurostar. ( ) If you've been keeping up with the news you already know my concerns with this trip, however, Matt assures me things will be fine. I told him don't let any of those kids rioting in the streets hurt you!

I suppose it's been nearly ten years ago that Bruce and I took the Eurostar to Paris from London. If you have the opportunity you should give it a go; traveling under the English Channel is really an experience. Similar to air travel, my ears popped like crazy in the deepest part of the tunnel. It is absolutely remarkable to think of a tunnel under water like that isn't it?

As well as a non working dishwasher, I still have a non working swimming pool, or hole if you will. In the above picture the young man is sanding the deck to keep it in place. Here's what's occupying most of the yard:

Now you know why I called it a hole. There is a little bit of a strange feeling about falling into this pit now that the dirt is covered. Before the contrast kept you feeling removed, now, though, with so little contrast between the deck and the edge, you must watch where you step. ETA of water is now Friday, just in time for us to leave for Ocala. Boohoo!

We are very excited to have grass in the back yard again:
Bruce is watering this like mad. I suggest you look back a few posts to fully appreciate the difference! On Saturday Roger and Shane came to help with the planting. Two beds are complete, including the one above on the right. The transformation is remarkable!

The photograph above is taken before the planting was officially underway. I am thrilled with the color of that bougainvillea. I so hope I can keep it looking beautiful.

Surprisingly the market was good on Sunday. The absolutely perfect weather didn't hurt a bit! Nice sized crowds and several repeat customers for your blogger friend. I like that. A woman whose son is a UCF student visits frequently, never failing to buy more for both her classroom and home in New York. That's nice.

The minute I walked in the door after the market, I began the preparations for our little birthday gathering for Maureen. Nothing fancy this time, chili and brownies. I was absolutely thrilled when on Saturday evening I discovered some fancy paper plates in my cupboard. That's it!--we'll serve chili mac, a standard in our home while growing up. Not only is putting chili over spaghetti a good way to expand the chili, it also tastes very yummy. You would have thought I'd given Bill a rare treat he was so thrilled. If you've ever been to our home for a meal you know that using paper plates is mostly foreign, but common sense prevailed in this instance. I still got up to a mountain of dishes to wash yesterday morning, just one not as high as it might have been. Despite the paper plates, I'm fairly certain a good time was had by all.

As you can imagine, Bill and Dave were thrilled seeing their old home looking fly. One of the areas they were most excited about was this one:
Their excitement matches mine. If you could have seen this spot in person over the last few years you would have known why we are so happy. Pretty much our junkyard. What with those horrible ac units hanging from the wall, the convoluted pipe system from the previous filter, bricks, dirt, roots, and old plywood used to cover the windows during the last serious hurricane threat, five, or make that six, years ago. Voila! A lovely path, stacked brick and travertine, and GRASS to stand on while I hang the clothes on the line! Baxter is pretty happy about this space as well. And to think it was an afterthought! Phil asked if we wanted the stone masons to make a path on the day before they went live. This may well be the best $400 of the project. Of course, once the water actually fills the pool, I may change my mind, but for the moment it's right near the top!

After the Polasek today I'll pick up the prints from Roger's house to replenish my supply for the weekend. You know what I'll be doing this afternoon--signing, signing, signing. Which is a very good problem to have.

Here's a little something I found in the NYT--
Most of us find it fascinating learning the secrets of older folks, especially those who live to be 100. While working it was my experience that there's no secret to living a very long life, the one constant seemed to be if you had longevity in your family. From the folks I talked to, it didn't seem to matter how you lived your life as long as your bad habits weren't extreme; family longevity seemed to be the one constant. That said, someone in every family has to start the trend. I clearly don't think it will be me. Imagine if I lived another 43 years--we'd definitely have to re-do this pool again!

P.S. It occurred to me after I hit the publish post button that you might finish reading this and think to yourself--Self, why isn't Gail just getting the dishwasher fixed? Well, she will, just not this week. With all the ongoing construction activity, not to mention getting ready for a show, it will have to wait until next week. Until then, I'll be elbow deep in suds!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunrise to Sunset

I pondered about calling today's post, "Loud & Dirty", however, upon further reflection I changed my mind. I've been having trouble with spam comments on a post I did quite a while ago titled, "Back in the Saddle." "Changed Title Due to Spam" is the new title for that post, but it hasn't stopped the nasty comments.

The guys arrived at sunrise and only left around 20 minutes ago. Here's how things progressed:
Clouds of dust wafted over our home all day according to Angela when she came to see it looking like this around 6:00...
After having some snacks, the men worked until dark, something I can't fathom. So much work for so little money, not to mention that you can hardly communicate with the people you are working for.

After listening to the stone saw, stump grinder, and table saw for the best part of the day, my nerves are a little frazzled. While telling this to Nancy on the telephone I realized what a whiner I sounded like. Imagine being on the other end of that equipment!

Most of the day I had to stay home to be available to the workers, however, a few days ago I finally scheduled a hair cut which I couldn't miss. After getting a bit of a trim I stopped by Clemons to pick up a few things. How about this for an amazing pumpkin?
Apparently the pumpkin weighs in at 1,200 pounds! The watermelon is no lightweight at 200lbs.

Adding to my worries today is that our dear Bruce is suffering terribly with a kidney stone while on his trip. The pain, when it hits, is crippling. Those of you who know anything about kidney stones know that the pain is most likened to the pain of childbirth. He called this morning from the roof of the Capital Grille, unable to move. Adding to the misery was a light rain. Having suffered like this in the past, we are confident that it will pass; we just don't know when. I just got off the phone with him and for the moment he's fine. He'll be flying home in the morning which will make me feel much better having him close. 

By this time next week we may have water!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


CNN is playing beside me with the coverage of the 33 Chilean miners rescue. Knowing me as you do, you know that television is not much of a part of my routine, however, this story is so riveting I'm making an exception. While getting my nails cleaned up this morning I kept tearing up as each one was brought to safety. As I type, they are bringing up the 21st miner--such a miracle!

I mentioned yesterday that there was a little detective story involved with the festival which I promised to relate today. Entering 40 successful credit card transactions in PayPal, I began #41, the final one, an American Express card for $350.00. My heart sunk as I read the message--declined, ask customer for another card. Impossible. Next I did what everyone does these days--searched online for the name. What's particularly weird about it was the conversation I had with this buyer regarding people who give me a bad card. Rarely, was my answer. Fortunately, during our conversation we also learned he was a CEO of a company in Altamonte Springs. Still, with all that info, I couldn't find a phone number. After trying several more times, hoping each time it would go through, I left on errands. While driving it occurred to me that maybe I could call AE and they would call him. Naive, I know, but I thought it might be worth a try. Dead end at AE. My next call was to PP where it was my good fortune to have a young woman who was a much better online searcher than I. She told me to use the old fashioned method of calling 411 with the name and address. Score! I left a voice mail.

Returning from the Polasek yesterday afternoon, I fully expected to see the little red blinking light indicating a message. No message. Voice mail #2. Around 6:00 that evening, while I was out back surveying yesterday's work, the phone rang. To say that he was embarrassed is an understatement. At least he apologized unlike the last person to do that to me! As they say, all's well that ends well. Lesson learned--I MUST get phone numbers on large purchases!

On to what you've been waiting for--the reconstruction of our back yard! Here's the early morning look:
 And here's how it looked once they were gone:
The job they did is terrific, but you knew that. If ever we have the opportunity to give people advice on who they should use to do their pool, it will be a pleasure to recommend Phil Bowles Pools.

Mark and Craig arrived a little after 8 today to work on widening the gate to make it easier for Bruce to get his kayak out of the backyard:
Here's hoping he'll have some time to do just that in the very near future. Over the weekend, while I was at the show, he worked with a nice young man, Roger, who was updating the sprinkler system. Bruce got the speaker wires underground out to the fence as well as a few other details I'm forgetting. He was so impressed with Roger that he's hiring him to do the planting if that day ever comes! I know it will, but having a dirt back yard is getting a little old. Which is where we're going next in our narrative.

A couple of canvases ordered over the weekend were ready for delivery. I called one of the ladies, agreeing to meet in the Target parking lot over by Fashion Square. She claimed to be delighted. Yesterday the travertine guy said his crew would arrive at 9:00, however they were not here by 11:00 when I left. Bummer. Eventually they showed up and began carting this pile of base to the back yard in wheelbarrows.

 The spreading begins:

Apparently they called their boss claiming they could not work with Mark and Craig in their way. It got a little ugly with them packing up to go home. NO! I want something besides dirt in the yard! Their boss finally settled them down via telephone and they are out back laying travertine--TA-DA!

Very, very exciting! We are nearing the finish line my friends....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


By now you may be wondering how the show went. Well--excellent, thank you very much. Furthermore our expectations were exceeded by ten fold. After barely surviving the summer intact, we came back with a ROAR!

And by we, I mean everyone involved, because, believe you me, I couldn't begin to do it by myself. It's all very much a team effort beginning with Bruce, without whom the display would not happen. Here's how things went on Friday afternoon. A late email kept Bruce at work longer than he would have liked, thus the set up began later than we both would have liked. Arriving home around 5, he stripped off his classy business clothes and went to work loading the Element to the rafters!

Driving over to Winter Park is pretty much a breeze, however we could not park our vehicles all that close. The beginning of the load out:
Many people were completely set up and secured by the time we arrived which probably made things a tad easier. Here's our space after unloading.

Sadly, it never did cool off one bit. I was getting a tad testy for a moment because I was so darn hot. I am completely over this heat, and even more so after the weekend, but more about that shortly. By the time the tent was all zipped up, we were both hot, hungry and tired. Looking at my watch I couldn't believe it was almost 9:00! After stopping for a quick bite to eat, we headed home, collapsing in bed almost as soon as we got in the door.  The above shot does show you how lovely the grass, and the whole park is, for that matter. Seriously, the nicest setting yet.

Leaving the house a little after 7:00 Saturday morning, I drove there not knowing what to expect from the day, although by now my nerves were completely under control. Raising the sides, setting up the table and displaying the price tags, I was ready for business before the 9:00 starting time. Soon thereafter Lisa arrived to be my bookkeeper. There's another part of the equation because without her I would have been sunk! She is an organizational queen and my ledger shows it! People started arriving soon with my first sale coming around 9:30. A small print, only $9.00, but they kept adding up as the day progressed. Here's how things looked:

All day long this the crowds looked like this:

And did I mention it was roasting? Well, it was! Awful heat, especially in our tent. By days end, 76 items left our booth.

Although I had a piece pulled for judging, I did not win any prize, which really doesn't surprise me. It was only today at the museum that I realized I did get an honorable mention ribbon. Bruce arrived Saturday evening after working much of the day with the sprinkler guys in the back yard to escort me to the party held at the Winter Park Historical Building:
The fellow in front of Bruce is a sculptor who won one of the prizes. They were a real nice couple from Miami; we had some fun chatting about the game scheduled for 8:00 between the Hurricanes and the Seminoles. By the time we arrived home I was what they call in the South--dog-tired.

Wondering how I would manage to stay up until the game was over, I settled in one of the thrones while Bruce fell asleep on the couch. Hurray for our team! Playing so well as to make me think it would be a miracle for the Hurricanes to come back, I felt confident enough to hit the sack. They didn't disappoint. I can still remember how big the rivalry was when Matthew went to FSU 17 years ago. The students would camp out for the weekend hoping to get tickets to the game.

Sunday morning was more of the same except for stopping by Roger's home on my way to the show. Another very large piece of the puzzle! Without Roger I would have nothing to display. Stepping onto his porch I expected to find five paper prints to replenish my supply of "Street Art"; I found two new canvases to replace the ones I sold on Saturday. Speaking with him on Saturday evening after the party I told him I was too tired to make a decision. He made it for me, and am I glad he did. Once at my booth I re-arranged the walls a bit making room for the replacements. Lisa arrived shortly after 9:00 to resume her duties. In this photograph she is sitting at the ready for any buyers:
Lo and behold, they came and came and came. Smarties, business cards, and prints were flying out of there. Adding a little whimsy to the day, this young man arrived:
How funny is this? My first attempt at a trip-tych, which sadly, did not sell. It may be just too dramatic. I say sadly because it is very hard to hang, but as you can see Mr. Bruce was up to the task.

Bruce arrived, Lisa left, and the packing up began in earnest. The heat never abated, sapping what little strength remained in this old body. Although I helped with the tear down, by the time I arrived home I was spent. You've already deduced that darling Bruce did all the unloading haven't you? Tijuana Flats for dinner and bed soon thereafter.  Oh yeah, I neglected to mention that Sunday's sales totaled 61. All in all, we sold 16 canvases, which is astonishing.

I want to thank my faithful readers for their encouragment--I know you are out there somewhere. As well, I am extending my gratitude to: Carlos, Amanda, Matthew, Katie, Amy, Maria, Jomarys, Albert, Cynthia, Susan, Thomas, Michele, William, Karen, Cody, Douglas, Jacki, Lindsay, Jeffrey, James, Kristina, Brooke, Melvin, Tesenia, Dana, Mario, Katayoun, Heidi, Ryan, Jay, Frederik, Damon, Jodie, Chris, Evelyn, Karen, Megan, Alissa, Charles, and Leslie. Those are just my credit card buyers! Plus my dear brother Pat and his wonderful wife Ruth came to not only visit, but Ruth always insists on buying gifts. She's too good to me.

So, if you've ever wondered what it's like to do a major art festival, now you know the nitty gritty, much of it not nearly as romantic as it looks from the sidewalk. :)

Tomorrow I'll tell you a little detective story with a happy ending.

You Just Never Know